What happens to children when their parents are deported?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Immigration |

Between May and September 2023, the Department of Homeland Security reports that it expelled more than 300,000 people from the United States.

Deportation is an upsetting situation, especially for families with children. Whether children return with their parents or stay in the United States depends on individual circumstances.

Best interests of the children

When authorities deport a parent, the well-being of the children takes precedence. Courts consider factors such as the children’s established routines, relationships and welfare. The goal is to maintain a stable environment that promotes the children’s physical and emotional health.

Educational continuity

The children’s education is another aspect that courts take into account. Deportation may lead to disruptions in their schooling, and custody arrangements aim to lessen the impact. In some cases, the children will remain in their current school in the United States. In other instances, a transition to schools in the parents’ home country is best.

Safety concerns

Authorities may hesitate to send a child to a country with the following safety concerns:

  • Gangs
  • Violence
  • Crime
  • Lack of suitable living conditions

Officials are also reluctant to send children to a country where they do not speak the language.

Possibility of state custody

If there are no family members in the United States to take care of the children, they could become wards of the state. This outcome usually happens only when suitable family alternatives are unavailable or unsuitable.

Complex legal processes

The legal processes related to deportation and child custody are complicated and the courts consider each case on an individual basis. They strive to make decisions that safeguard the rights and interests of the children while still following the law.

Maintaining connections with supportive communities is important for parents facing deportation. Extended families can offer resources and guidance as they navigate potential changes in living arrangements for their children.